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Up on the Roof

Up on the Roof


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:28 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Cross Fell

Date walked: 17/04/2016

Time taken: 5.5

Distance: 14.5 km

Ascent: 736m

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After thinking winter had left the hills we were granted another chance of a plodge in the snow as temperatures dropped and the April showers fell as snow on the tops. We set off early for us, with the mighty Cross Fell in mind and were suited and booted by just past nine o'clock on a stunning spring morning. We were starting from Kirkland which gives the option of a circular walk around the Pennines highest point, taking in a couple of the western valleys.
Although it was nippy, temperatures were set to rise as cloud was due to come in around lunch time so we hoped to reach the top in good time. The way up from Kirkland is ideal for good progress, apart from the morass of the cow feeding station, and we soon hit the snow line with views opening up to the Lakes and the fine sight of Black Doors providing good interest.

ImageTrack out of Kirkland by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Image
Kirkland Beck by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking to the Lakes by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageSnowy Kirkdale by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Image
Hughie by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageViews opening up by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBlack Doors by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHitting the Snowline by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Hughie was as usual loving the white stuff (see photographic evidence) as we climbed up out of Ardale and onto the very broad shoulder of the Fell. Although snow never threatened we were treated to some dramatic Pennine skies which thankfully never obscured the views as we picked our way across the slowly thawing landscape till we reached the prominent cairn which marks the Pennine ways journey up to (or down from) it's highest point. Even though we had seen a few people at this point it quickly be came apparent nobody, apart from what looked like a fox from the footprints, had been up Cross Fell today since the overnight snows. We followed Mr Fox as the light changed from one moment to the next on the vast landscape as a bank of cloud skimmed past the summit plateau meaning we would reach the summit in clear conditions. The snow was largely firm and not very deep apart from one thigh deep patch that Grace enjoyed so the going was good all the way to the summit shelter where possibly the most extensive view in England was laid out before us, the first summiteers of the day, in all it's glory.

ImageMad Dog by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageSpring and Winter by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageOn the way up by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBrown Hill by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageFirst glimpse of the summit plateau. by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImagePennine Skies. by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Image
Thaw by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageGlorious views by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageThreatening Skies by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageContrasts by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageInto Darkness by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageIcy Details by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageWide open by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageUp to the Knees by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCross Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHughie and Grace by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageSummit Shelter by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageWhat a fine spot for lunch by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The view from Cross Fell on a clear day can't really be captured in a photograph but the sight of the Lakeland mountains across the Vale of Eden to the West continuing on to the tops of the Yorkshire Dales to the South is very special. The plateau cuts out some of the view to the North and East but even here the vast wilderness is awe inspiring and it was a fantastic place to eat lunch out of the gentle breeze and quite warm all things considered.
As we ate a few others made the top breaking the spell but soon enough we had to head off to our descent route. Here a fine view of Cow Green Reservoir and the source of the mighty river Tees is to be had amid a scene of wilderness as we made our way down the now rapidly thawing fellside as a couple was coming up the other way.

'I recognise that dog!' came the cry from the gentleman as we approached, fame at last for Hughie so it seams! The gentleman in question was Walkhighlands poster John923, it was very nice to say hello to a fellow Walkhighlander and have a little chat and quite the surprise. This impromptu meeting over we promptly missed the path and ended up at Crowdundle head. Rather than retrace our steps back up hill we contoured the now thawed and soggy fellside before running into our intended route down.

ImageLooking back to the summit by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageViews to Cow Green Reservoir by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLittle and Great Dun Fells by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking down Greatdale by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageGiant Golf Ball by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The path gave us good, if slightly squelchy at times, progress down to Wild Boar Scar (obviously used to be trees aplenty round here) and onto Littledale amid the idyllic surrounds of the Pennine foothills. These parts of the Pennines as they descend into the Vale of Eden always wow me with there bucolic beauty, such a contrast with the harsh bleak environment of the summits

ImageBack on the path by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageWild Boar Scar by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLittledale by Anthony Young, on Flickr

One last thing remained for this walk and that was the intriguing name on the map of "The Hanging Walls of Mark Anthony". This is a very grand name that promises much but delivers nothing more, as the map also suggests, than the outline of cultivation terraces from days gone past. Given the Roman connotations of the name and the nearby Roman route of the Maiden Way it all seems scant evidence of something so grand sounding. A little internet research revealed not much to be honest but did turn up this very interesting letter to the Cumberland & Westmoorland Herald.

Sir, In reply to B. H. Dunn’s query regarding the “Hanging Gardens”, or more correctly, the “Hanging Walls of Mark Anthony”, the following may be of interest.

Although shown on the Ordnance Survey map as being located at Kirkland, this would appear to be a mistake on the part of the Ordnance Survey when the first maps were produced during the mid-19th Century. The features at Kirkland are agricultural terraces, possibly built by the Angles after they arrived in the area during the 7th Century.
Although there is little to see now, the real Hanging Walls of Mark Anthony would seem to have been located just outside Culgaith.

The Elizabethan historian and antiquarian, William Camden, who travelled the whole country before publishing Britannia, his 1586 topographical survey of Britain, notes “the strange ruins of an old castle”, close to where the Crowdundle beck runs into the River Eden and referred to by the local population as the “Hanging Walls of Mark Anthony”.

There are still many large foundation stones around the boundaries of a field in an area known as Hanging Bank, adjacent to the Eden and not far from the Crowdundle. There is also a large granite standing stone, possibly some form of boundary marker. The walls may have quite literally been hanging, due to river erosion of the bank upon which they stood.

I would guess that the “ruined castle” was the remains of a medieval tower house, attributed to the Romans, and more specifically, Mark Anthony, following the loss of any folk memory regarding its last occupants.
The manor of Culgaith was divided into two parts during the Middle Ages, probably with two manor houses, with this being one of them. Yours etc,

IAN MARSH
South Esk,
Culgaith.


http://cwherald.com/a/archive/ordnance-survey-mistake.207550.html

What Mr Marsh suggests really dose sound quite plausible. It would be interesting to know just what the few posters who hail from around these parts think of it with their local knowledge.

We finished off with a gentle stroll back to the car to end a very fine outing indeed while noting the stark contrast with the amount of snow in Kirkdale from when we set off.

ImageHanging Walls of Mark Anthony? by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageKirkdale nearly snowless by Anthony Young, on Flickr


our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Last edited by johnkaysleftleg on Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: Up on the Roof

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:29 pm

Oops!
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Re: Up on the Roof

Postby trailmasher » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:47 pm

Great report and photos of a hill that I have climbed many times :clap: :clap: a well described and accurate account of your walk. Hughie looked to be enjoying himself immensely :) The four leg wind break was rebuilt a couple or three years ago and on a good day sitting looking over the Eden Valley is a great way to waste an hour :wink: Well done the gang :clap:
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Re: Up on the Roof

Postby dav2930 » Sun May 01, 2016 12:16 pm

Excellent and interesting report JK. Looks like you picked a really good day for this one with great clarity for the extensive views. So much better to do the circuit rather than up and down by the same route - though it's all too easy to miss the path heading for Wildboar Scar! I did exactly the same last time I was up there with a lady friend from work; I don't think she was impressed by my navigation skills :lol:

Interesting stuff about the Hanging Walls of Mark Anthony. I've also heard from folks hereabouts that they are located near Culgaith rather than Kirkland, though I can't add anything to what Ian Marsh says in his letter. It is a rather grandiose name for something that doesn't amount to much! :lol:
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Re: Up on the Roof

Postby ChrisW » Mon May 02, 2016 6:38 am

Aha those lovely shots of home JK, what a day you picked for this one mate. The fact that the clouds came close just adds to the wonder of an already wonderful place. Good to see the whole squad out in the SNOW :shock: :crazy: As always Hughie steals the show :wink: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Up on the Roof

Postby pamfox » Mon May 02, 2016 9:14 pm

I've been wanting to get on Cross Fell for ages so it was good to read your report. The photos are great as usual, very atmospheric. You're right about the view too. We stayed in Orton in the Eden valley a few years ago but spent our time walking the Howgills rather than this area. It looks very inviting :D
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Re: Up on the Roof

Postby pamfox » Mon May 02, 2016 9:14 pm

I've been wanting to get on Cross Fell for ages so it was good to read your report. The photos are great as usual, very atmospheric. You're right about the view too. We stayed in Orton in the Eden valley a few years ago but spent our time walking the Howgills rather than this area. It looks very inviting :D
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Re: Up on the Roof

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue May 03, 2016 4:20 pm

trailmasher wrote:Great report and photos of a hill that I have climbed many times :clap: :clap: a well described and accurate account of your walk. Hughie looked to be enjoying himself immensely :) The four leg wind break was rebuilt a couple or three years ago and on a good day sitting looking over the Eden Valley is a great way to waste an hour :wink: Well done the gang :clap:


The new shelter wasn't built on my last visit and I must say they've done a beautiful job of it, Cheers for the kind words TM

dav2930 wrote:Excellent and interesting report JK. Looks like you picked a really good day for this one with great clarity for the extensive views. So much better to do the circuit rather than up and down by the same route - though it's all too easy to miss the path heading for Wildboar Scar! I did exactly the same last time I was up there with a lady friend from work; I don't think she was impressed by my navigation skills :lol:

Interesting stuff about the Hanging Walls of Mark Anthony. I've also heard from folks hereabouts that they are located near Culgaith rather than Kirkland, though I can't add anything to what Ian Marsh says in his letter. It is a rather grandiose name for something that doesn't amount to much! :lol:


Thanks Dav, good too know I'm not the only one who can't find the start of that path, makes you want to go back up and have another look.

ChrisW wrote:Aha those lovely shots of home JK, what a day you picked for this one mate. The fact that the clouds came close just adds to the wonder of an already wonderful place. Good to see the whole squad out in the SNOW :shock: :crazy: As always Hughie steals the show :wink: :clap: :clap:


Cheers Chris, we all love a bit of Snow :D

pamfox wrote:I've been wanting to get on Cross Fell for ages so it was good to read your report. The photos are great as usual, very atmospheric. You're right about the view too. We stayed in Orton in the Eden valley a few years ago but spent our time walking the Howgills rather than this area. It looks very inviting :D


Thanks Pam. The Howgills are lovely as you no doubt discovered but Cross Fell summit is a special place on a clear day and all said and done not a particularly difficult top to reach.
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Re: Up on the Roof

Postby john923 » Sun May 29, 2016 6:58 pm

Oh dear, where did the last month go. It was, of course, a pleasure to meet and say hello to a fellow walkhighlander. Our route was virtually the same as yours but anticlockwise, except that we started from Blencarn rather than Kirkland and also did an out-and-back to Litte Dun Fell to tick that one off. I remember that it was a certainly a relief to get to the flagstones after the slushy section from the top of Wildboar Scar. But the snow didn't last long did it? My pics on the way up show whiter hillsides than yours pics on the way down and vice versa. And as you say, the views from the summit were extensive indeed - certainly a great day to be there. We wondered about detouring to the Hanging Gardens on the way back but decided they would have to wait - perhaps a good idea?

I'm sure the world doesn't need another report of the same hill ascended at the same time, so here are just a couple of pics from the day.
P1000630.jpg

P1000639.jpg
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Re: Up on the Roof

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:57 pm

john923 wrote:Oh dear, where did the last month go. It was, of course, a pleasure to meet and say hello to a fellow walkhighlander. Our route was virtually the same as yours but anticlockwise, except that we started from Blencarn rather than Kirkland and also did an out-and-back to Litte Dun Fell to tick that one off. I remember that it was a certainly a relief to get to the flagstones after the slushy section from the top of Wildboar Scar. But the snow didn't last long did it? My pics on the way up show whiter hillsides than yours pics on the way down and vice versa. And as you say, the views from the summit were extensive indeed - certainly a great day to be there. We wondered about detouring to the Hanging Gardens on the way back but decided they would have to wait - perhaps a good idea?


Good to meat you and here from you John. The Hanging gardens amount to not a lot in all honesty. I think the guy in the letter has it about right.
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Location: County Durham

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